Home > liberals > Steve Jobs and Occupy Wall Street. What Could Go Wrong?

Steve Jobs and Occupy Wall Street. What Could Go Wrong?

Doesn't that kid know about all the germs on money?

I was trying to figure out how to start this post about the Occupy Wall Street what-not when I started reading some stuff on the internets about Steve Jobs dying.  I didn’t know the man (I never returned any of his phone calls asking for advice), so I can’t speak to his character.  He apparently made some cool stuff, and I appreciate that my/my wife’s MacBook Pro doesn’t take twenty five minutes to shut down like my work PC.  But I’m also not some techy who can’t sleep the night before the new iPhone is released.  I can say one thing about Steve Jobs though: he was a genius who used his genius to make people buy stuff that they enjoy using…and turned himself from a regular guy into a filthy rich guy who every hot chick he went to high school with is now kicking themselves for having been mean to (I’m looking at you hot chicks from high school who ignored me Steve Jobs and are now unhappy and not hot anymore).

Then I read some Occupy Wall Street guy argue that Jobs wasn’t such a saint because he didn’t do enough for his own “workers who were responsible for his great wealth and success.”  See, this is why I frequent lefty websites and radio stations because you couldn’t make this stuff up.  Obviously the OWS guy was referring to Jobs having the nerve to create jobs in other countries.  Now, this post isn’t about defending Jobs or his creating manufacturing jobs in other countries.  This post is about the mentality of the OWS crowd.

Why are thousands camped out on Wall Street, and at various locations around the country?  They say it’s to protest the 1%.  Why?  Let’s ignore the fact that the majority of the people whose lives are being made more difficult by the protests are far from being part of the 1%.  Why protest people with lots of money?  They say it’s because of jobs.  What jobs?  Did the CEO of Bank of America steal one of the OWS protestor’s jobs (seems unlikely)?  My personal opinion is a simple one: a child-like feeling of entitlement.

It ain't a party 'til the communists show up

Simply put, there is a chunk of people who feel they have a “right” to certain things in life…such as a certain job, with certain benefits, at a certain salary.  Why?  Because it’s “fair.”  If they don’t get those things, then they find someone to blame.  Well here’s the reality: you don’t have a right to anything.  You’re not entitled to the corner office.  Or health insurance.  Or a flat-screen tv.  And it isn’t because “life isn’t fair.”  I know people that have fantastic jobs they don’t “deserve;” that they’ve received simply because they know someone who knows someone.  I also know people that did everything “right,” but are stuck in a lousy job.  I also know people with real problems, like going through divorces or suffering from life-threatening illnesses.  Is any of this “fair?”

My wife used to tell my kids something along the lines of “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”  I’d like to use that line on everyone sitting on Wall Street.  “Fair” doesn’t exist beyond television.  Instead, “it is what it is” should be everyone’s motto.  Am I advocating for a lawless society where only the strong survive?  Of course not.  I’m simply advocating for people to stop acting like children and realize that no one shipped “your” job overseas, or took away “your” benefits.  They don’t belong to you, and they never have.

What sets this country apart from every other one out there is opportunity.  To take what you have and maximize it to the best of your abilities without arbitrary restrictions.  Now, will everybody find the same success?  Of course not.  Does everybody even want the same success?  No.  I, for one, know that I have no desire to put in the work of AIG’s CEO.  I enjoy sleeping and watching football too much.

My advice to the OWS crowd is the same advice I give to my kids and myself: appreciate what you’ve been given and don’t begrudge the success of others.  And don’t schedule kids’ parties on the weekends, because that’s when football is on and no one will want to come.

  1. October 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    As an electronics neanderthal, I couldn’t figure out how to comment on you Cain post and so since this is a “bit” of a political post, and since Herm has made a couple comments about OWS, I’ll post it here. Perhaps since Herm is your No. 1 you can explain a couple things that he has either declined or is unable to do.

    1) He has stated that 999 would generate approximately the same incomeas current code but at the same time corporations and “most” individuals will pay less (that seems a bit of a stretch without even getting into details unless we are depending on a fresh harvest of manna). However, unless there is a substantial broadening of the tax base, the income tax revenue would fall by about 45%, from an effective rate of approximately 16% to 9%, while FICA falls by 100% to a rate of zero.

    The only significant broadening of the base that I can imagine, other than mortgage interest is municipal bond interest. What is the anticipated impact on already strapped municipalities if that exemption is removed and their borrowing costs skyrocket?

    Even those changes do not appear to sufficiently off-set the reductions listed above.

    2) What action would be anticipated to offset the major disincentive on discretionary demand (and to a great extent new mortgages are discretionary) of both the removal of the mortgage interest deduction and the imposition of the 9% sales tax, both of which will certainly be much more significant for upper middle and upper income. The last thing this economy needs at this time is a weakening of demand!

    What effect will the sales tax have on black market and foreign transactions?

    Overall, it would appear that 11-11-11 might reach, but 9-9-9 is about 20% short. Hence the only hope for Mr Cain to balance a budget is for him to make spending cuts of comparable size–I wish him luck!

    BTW, you can respond to your uncle by personal e-mail if you wish, your mother has my address.

  2. October 20, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    I agree, there are so many people that expect things to be handed to them. People need to work to be successful, work your way up the ladder…Also, that last sentence is so true, haha.

  3. Mary
    October 21, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    The attraction of Herman Cain’s proposal is that his is the only proposal, by any candidate, that imagines a complete dumping and re-working of the existing tax system. A notion to which no one could possibly object.

    What is currently in place is an abomination; a receptacle for every whim and caprice of whichever lobbyist or do-gooder got to our representatives with a campaign donation first. To have that undecipherable mess, called the Tax Code, foisted upon the citizens of this country is a crime. Even the most ardent fan of the Code (if any) will admit that its original purpose of funding the necessary functions of the government has long ago been twisted and perverted.

    It is refreshing to see that at least one candidate (not surprisingly, the one with hands-on business experience) understands the pervasive destruction the Tax Code has wrought.

  4. October 21, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    I’m sorry but this sounds an awfully lot like a press release from any politician’s staff–don’t answer the question–revert to the talking points–who on earth is arguing with what you just posted regarding the current system? What I want to know is how this alternative improves anything.

  5. Mary
    October 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    Didn’t mean to sound like talking points. I thought I was expressing frustration. I have no idea how the alternative to the current tax code improves anything. My point is, since I don’t think anything can be as bad as the system we’ve currently got, I’m inclined to support anyone who is willing to scrap the whole thing and start over. I would prefer that some candidate adopt and run on Steve Forbes’ flat tax idea (which gained no traction some years ago when he ran on it, even tho he did have the chapter and verse breakdown on its implementation) but, failing that, anyone who is in favor of scrapping, as opposed to tweaking, moves up on my preference list.

  6. October 21, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    I’m sure Perry’s plan, scheduled for release next week, I believe, will be very similar. Due to Forbes’ involvement, I would also expect it to be much more complete than Cain’s.

  7. October 23, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Alright, I’m back. I like Cain’s plan for one reason: it represents a conversation starter on burning the tax code and starting over. I think it’s difficult for anyone to offer a reasonable estimate as to what revenue’s would look like under Cain’s plan; especially since, in my opinion, we currently have a recession problem, as opposed to a revenue problem. In other words, before we can get an accurate picture of revenues post-Cain plan, we need to get the economy rolling again.

    I also like the fact that, under the Cain plan, the tax base will broaden. There are currently far too many people off the tax rolls. It’s absurd that fifty percent of this country pays 100% of fed. income tax.

    All of that being said, I don’t like his 9% sales tax. I’m concerned about the effect it will have on demand. And it’s politically dangerous because, let’s face it, everyone will be paying new taxes. And of course, it will disproportionately affect lower income people.

    Overall, Cain’s plan is simply too simple. The government has manipulated so much of every dollar we make through the tax code that it’s difficult to envision a world where we actually have a simple plan. I’m in favor of little to no deductions and low rates for everyone (although I do think they should be somewhat progressive). Everyone who pays taxes right now, is taxed too much.

  8. October 25, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Can’t fault him for being long winded

    Author: fred beyers [ Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:01 pm ]

    –might find a bit of problem with his thoroughness though!

    Herman Cain wrote:
    …Contrary to some of what you hear in current conversation, the theory of the Laffer Curve was proven correct when Ronald Reagan cut marginal tax rates across the board in 1981, and federal revenues soared. So did deficits, of course, and that’s the part you usually hear about. But that’s because federal spending soared even more. Excessive spending, not insufficiently high tax rates, was the problem then and it’s still the problem today.

    So having established Mr. Laffer’s credibility on economic and tax matters, it’s nice to see that he cuts to the chase about 9-9-9 by pointing out a couple of things….

    http://www.northstarwriters.com/2011/10 … #more-9200

    to claim “having established Mr. Laffer’s credibility on economics and tax matter” with one sentence, when others have written books considering several variables involved with the Laffer curve in general and conditions during the Reagan administration in particular, suggests a rather cursory attitude at best.

    Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus
    cursory: Lacking in intellectual depth or thoroughness: one-dimensional, shallow, sketchy, skin-deep, superficial, uncritical.

  9. November 2, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    “Everyone who pays taxes right now, is taxed too much.”

    This condition CANNOT be changed by playing with/altering the tax code–the only way this can changed is by REDUCING spending!

    BTW, you do realize, I assume, that if the 47% that currently pay no FIT immediately began paying approx 15% of total individual income of Americans that they receive, it would amount to slightly more than 3% of our current expenditures–hardly more than a pebble on the beach of irresponsibility.

  10. November 8, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    You’re preaching to the choir here. We absolutely need to cut spending. Significantly. It won’t matter whether we raise or lower taxes if we don’t control spending.

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